I just read a sentence in my textbook:

Mein schönstes deutsches Wort lautet "Sternschnuppe", weil man nach einer Sternschnuppe immer einen Wunsch frei hat.

I think that "immer" is about time, so according to the time-manner-place order, shouldn't it be

... weil man immer nach einer Sternschnuppe einen Wunsch frei hat



2 Answers 2


Grammar-wise both sentences are fine. However, the first one with

... weil man nach einer Sternschnuppe immer einen Wunsch frei hat

is the more natural way of speaking.

I suppose the reason is as follows:

The "immer" works like a sign-post like: "Attention! Now something crucial is going to be said!", and thus it lets the audience focus on the element directly following.

In the first (more natural) sentence, this is "einen Wunsch frei haben". Which is indeed the specific thing - the core of the proposition.

Whereas in

... weil man immer nach einer Sternschnuppe einen Wunsch frei hat.

the element following directly on "immer" is "Sternschnuppe", so focus is laid on "Sternschnuppe". This may be appropriate in certain situations, but not in your case, as you had mentioned that Sternschnuppe already, so it is anyway present in the mind of your audience, and now everybody is just waiting what exactly you are going to tell about Sternschnuppen.

A sentence with "immer nach einer Sternschnuppe" would need something to be said where focus on Sternschnuppe makes sense. For example:

Ich mag Sternschnuppen lieber als Meteoriten, weil man immer bei einer Sternschnuppe einen Wunsch frei hat, aber bei einem Meteoriten nicht.

Disclaimer: in my experience wishing things on the sight of a Sternschnuppe has no effect. None of the wishes I spent on them became true so far.

(Okay, perhaps it is just because each Sternschnuppe is only for one wish, and every time somebody else is quicker. Perhaps there are too many people on earth, and too little Sternschnuppen around.)


No, immer is a manner, and nach is a time relation.

Wann steht er auf? — Er steht nach ihr auf.

Aber nur wochentags, oder? — Nein, er steht immer nach ihr auf.

But both sentences are okay, as Christian explained.

  • "Nach ihr steht immer er auf"; "Immer steht er nach ihr auf", ...
    – tofro
    Oct 27, 2017 at 10:09
  • Yes, these are interchangeable, as Christian explained.
    – Janka
    Oct 27, 2017 at 10:10
  • 1
    The art of the short answer... Oct 27, 2017 at 10:18
  • @tofro This isn't interchangeable if you have three persions. "Nach ihr immer er" means that he rises immediately. "Immer steht er nach ihr auf" allows to have a third person rising between them.
    – harper
    Oct 27, 2017 at 11:22
  • @harper We don't have three persons in that sentence. And all other possible word orders really don't nail third persons to their seats as well, allowing them to rise whenever they want.
    – tofro
    Oct 27, 2017 at 12:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.